Waffle Iron Chocolate Chip Cookies

My sweet tooth was calling my name. At first it was telling me to make brownies on the waffle iron again, which were a real crowd pleaser. I resisted, so the voice and I compromised on chocolate chip cookies made on the waffle iron. Quick, easy, and yep, they taste just like chocolate chip cookies…. because they are.
Waffle Iron Chocolate Chip CookiesI found getting the cookies off the hot waffle iron to be challenging, so I turn off the iron and let them cool. I can then slide a knife beneath them and they come right off. They get nice and crunchy after cooling. Perfect for dunking.

Waffle Iron Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 large cookies
 
Total cook time shown is for 6 large cookies, each made from 4 sections of dough. You can make more, or less.
Ingredients
  • 1 package pre-made cookie dough (I used a Nestle's Tollhouse bar, but you can also use dough in a tube)
  • Non-stick spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat your waffle iron and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. I put 4 pieces of dough onto my small iron at once. I let them touch so that when I closed the iron it would form one large cooking. You can do it however you like. One at a time, two at a time, whatever works for you.
  3. Close the lid and let cook 3-6 minutes or until starting to get dark.
  4. Turn off the iron and let cool 5 minutes before carefully removing the cookie.
  5. Let cool completely. The cookie will get crunchier as it cools.
  6. Continue cooking by turning your iron back on and reheating it before adding more dough.

Cauliflower Nachos

Who needs all the carbs you find in traditional nachos? We’ll, here’s the solution if you’re watching your carbohydrates. Perfectly roasted cauliflower topped with your favorite nacho toppings. Heck, you don’t even have to be counting carbs to enjoy these nachos.
These cauliflower nachos remind me of another low-carb version of a dish: mashed cauliflower. Just like the potato version, but without the carbs. We make them often and always enjoy folk’s reaction when we tell them they aren’t eating mashed potatoes.

5 from 1 reviews
Cauliflower Nachos
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Pickled jalapeños
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place cauliflower pieces in a large bowl.
  3. Add the oil and toss gently to coat.
  4. Add the salt, cumin, paprika, chili powder and garlic powder. Toss to coat.
  5. Pour cauliflower out on a large baking sheet and spread out evenly.
  6. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden in color and the edges have started to crisp.
  7. Sprinkle with the cauliflower with the cheeses and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
  8. Serve topped with salsa, guacamole and jalapeños.

Skittles Popcorn

We had a sort-of-good turnout this year at Halloween. Trick-or-treaters came in waves, but not big waves like we had last year. That means we were left with a big ole bowl (actually, three bowls) of leftover Halloween candy. I’m a big fan of Skittles candies, so we had lots of Skittles… so I made Skittles popcorn! Fun to make, the popcorn tastes a bit like caramel corn, but with the sweetness cranked up a few notches. Tangerine, lemon, berry, grape and pear flavors exploded everywhere!
Skittles popcorn is mighty darned tasty (and sweet). It doesn’t get super-duper crunchy like caramel corn but it’s still a great treat. And it doesn’t take a whole lot of Skittles candies to make a while lot of popcorn, either.

Some of the colors get a bit thin as they melt, so don’t be afraid to have a few drops of food coloring on hand to bump up the colors.

5 from 1 reviews
Skittles Popcorn
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of popcorn (plain, unsalted)
  • 4 oz butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of Skittles® (make sure single flavor used
  • Waxed paper
Instructions
  1. Notes: 4 cups cooked per half recipe
  2. Food coloring
  3. Pop your corn according to package instructions. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Rip a sheet of waxed paper (about 8 – 10? long) and lie on your counter.
  5. Melt butter and brown sugar on the stove on medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid scorching.
  6. Pour in the Skittles® candies. Stir until melted (you might need to mash them down to help them dissolve).
  7. Once done melting pour the hot candy mixture over the top of the popcorn.
  8. Use a spatula and fold in the mixture throughout the popcorn until will covered.
  9. Dump the popcorn onto the waxed paper and spread thinly to allow to cool.
  10. If you wish to make popcorn balls, allow mixture to cool for 3 – 4 minutes (or until you can touch it). Then, spray cooking spray or butter your hands and form the popcorn into balls shapes. Set aside.
  11. Allow all to fully set (around 15 – 20 minutes)
  12. Store in airtight containers for about a week

Cheddar Walnuts

I’m usually a pecan kind of guy, but these cheddar walnuts made a walnut believer out of me with just one nut. Great buttery texture with a sharp cheddar coating, these nuts disappear in no time. I made the nuts two ways: a nice mellow cheddar version, and a spicy fiery cheddar version. Anita took these walnuts to work, and I can tell you I definitely didn’t make enough. They were loved by all!
There’s no reason you couldn’t use the same approach I used to make cheddar walnuts on other nuts, such as pecans or peanuts. Just keep in mind, smaller nuts will roast quicker, so you might want to cut back on the baking time.

I like spicy foods, so I wouldn’t be afraid to double the hot and spicy ingredients and make a super-duper double-spicy version either. But I would put up a little sign by them if I was serving them to a crowd. No point in hurting someone!

5 from 1 reviews
Cheddar Walnuts
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
For the dry ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons white (yellow is fine too) cheddar popcorn seasoning, such as Kernel Season's
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (for fiery walnuts only)
For the wet ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons red chili pepper hot sauce (for fiery walnuts only)
For the nuts
4 cups walnut halves and pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
For the dry ingredients
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
For the wet ingredients
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl.
For the nuts
  1. Add the walnuts to the wet ingredients and stir until well coated.
  2. While still stirring, slowly pour in the dry ingredients, coating the nuts completely.
  3. Pour the walnuts out onto the parchment paper, spreading out evenly.
  4. Bake for 6 minutes, then stir and bake another 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Fried Smoked Wings

Wonderfully smoky, tender meat with a lightly crispy skin, these smoked and then fried chicken wings were a thing of beauty. These are one of most dangerous things you could ever put in front of me. I don’t even need any sauce to toss or dunk them in, either. Just give me a big basket of them and get out of the way!
The process is simple. Season your wings, and place them onto your smoker. No messing around with them either. Just smoke for 2 hours.

When the wings are done you toss them into a deep fryer for a minute or so, until golden brown and lightly crispy. You can also make a big huge batch and freeze the smoked wings (before frying). All you have to do is thaw them and deep fry them when you’re ready to serve them at a later time. I was worried that making them from the frozen smoked wings would result in over-cooked, tough wings, but oh no, they were fantastic!

There’s a brewpub by our house, Redemption Alewerks, that makes crazy-good chicken wings. They smoke them first over a mix of mesquite and cherry woods, then flash fry them. They sauce them then place them over a hot flame to finish them off. My approach is similar, but I don’t always put them onto the grill at the end. They are fantastic either way, but grilling them real quick does help set the sauce.

For smoked wings that seem like they were fried, but weren’t, try my almost-fried smoked wings. Same great crunch and flavor without the oil.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

5 from 1 reviews
Fried Smoked Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • Your favorite rub (I used Albukirky Seasoning's Green Chile Rub)
  • Canola oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use any wood you like. I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks because I wanted a good, noticeable smoke flavor. Use a lighter wood if you want your wings to be a little less smoky.
  2. Place the wings onto the smoker and smoke for 2 hours. No need to rotate or flip them.
  3. When done, remove from the smoker. You can deep fry them immediately or freeze them for thawing and frying later.
  4. To fry, heat canola oil to 350 F.
  5. Working in batches, add the wings and fry for 1-2 minutes or until they are the desired color.
  6. Let cool slightly. Serve tossed with your favorite sauce and your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
  7. Optional: Toss the wings onto a hot grill for 1 minute after saucing them to set the sauce.

Scorpion Tails

I’ve made ‘normal’ jalapeno poppers on my grill, smoker and using my Char-Broil Big Easy many, many times. These scorpion tails are like jalapeno poppers, but they’re a bit more fru-fru shall we say. Instead of cream cheese I used velvety smooth Havarti cheese (the favorite cheese in our household, often found on our sandwich wraps and grilled cheese sandwiches). Instead of smoky bacon I used prosciutto. You still get that same wonderful pepper flavor, and a little kick, and pork yummy-ness. Just a bit more special, and definitely something different to amaze and wow your guests!
I often dust my jalapeno poppers with my favorite rub before cooking them. I decided to skip doing that with these scorpion tales. I didn’t want anything to mask the flavors of the cheese and prosciutto. You can certainly add some rub or seasoning if you wish. But if it was me, I’d skip it or keep it very light.

5 from 1 reviews
Scorpion Tails
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18 bites
 
Ingredients
  • 9 jalapenos, halved, membranes and seeds removed
  • 9 ounces jalapeno Havarti cheese, softened
  • 18 slices prosciutto
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use a medium wood such as hickory.
  2. Fill the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese. Iv'e found that I can spread the cheese in with a knife if it has softened enough. If not, just cut the cheese into thin slices and then fill the peppers.
  3. Wrap each pepper in a slice of prosciutto.
  4. Smoke for 20-30 minutes or until softened.

Cedar Planked Twinkies

Grilled Twinkies are a great thing. Cedar planked Twinkies are a wonderful thing. Just a light hint of cedar takes a simple dessert to a new place. You can top them with whatever you have on hand. For me that meant Nutella (a good thing no matter what, but also good to keep your other toppings from falling off of the Twinkies), ooey-gooey marshmallows, crunchy toffee and of course, whipped cream.
Ice cream, toasted nuts, cherries, anything you can find while be good on cedar planked Twinkies. Just don’t leave the Twinkies on the grill too long or the cedar flavor might get too strong. You want that hint of cedar to kind of be lurking in the background. You don’t want it jumping right out at you. You can also skip the cedar plank and grill the Twinkies directly on your grill.

5 from 1 reviews
Cedar Planked Twinkies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
You'll need one cedar plank.
Ingredients
  • 4 Twinkies
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup Toffee pieces
  • Whipped cream
  • Any other favorite toppings (roasted peanuts, toasted walnuts, fresh fruit or berries, etc)
Instructions
  1. Soak plank in water for 1 hour.
  2. Fire up a grill for indirect 300 F grilling.
  3. Place Twinkies on the plank.
  4. Slather tops with the Nutella.
  5. Sprinkle with the marshmallows and toffee.
  6. Place on the grill and grill for 15 minutes or until the marshmallows have started to melt.
  7. 'Serve topped with whipped cream and whatever other toppings you enjoy.

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Sno-Cone Syrup

Yes, I do have a machine that shaves ice. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Everyone loves sno-cones. I used to buy big bottles of syrup at the store (due to occasional laziness) and finally asked myself how hard could it really be to make some at home? The answer? It’s not hard at all and the flavors are so much more bold. I keep a few different ones on hand in squeeze bottles, ready to make delicious sno-cones at a moment’s notice.

Here’s the ice shaver that I use. It’s small, fairly cheap, and has held up for years. Just add a few ice cubes and turn it on and it starts shooting out perfectly shaved ice in an instant.

5 from 1 reviews
Sno-Cone Syrup
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar (you can substitute Splenda or the equivalent)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (0.13 ounce) your favoriteKool-Aid flavor packet
Instructions
  1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for 1 minute, stirring.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the flavor packet.
  4. Allow to cool in the fridge for 1 hour before using.